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Roddy Doyle's The Commitments - Palace Theatre

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

TWENTY five years after the publication of The Commitments, Booker Prize-winning Roddy Doyle has adapted his best-selling novel for the stage.

Directed by award-winning Jamie Lloyd and packed with classic soul songs such as Mustang Sally, The Commitments opens at the Palace Theatre on October 8, following preview performances from September 21, 2013.

The Commitments is set in Dublin in the 1980’s and is the tale of an aspiring band manager, Jimmy Rabbitte, and a group of aspiring musicians who get together in the hope of forming a band. Jimmy wants to manage the world’s greatest soul band and, like a true businessman, he holds auditions at his parents’ house in the hope of discovering musical talent.

However, unlike his soul idols such as Aretha Franklin and Ottis Reading, Jimmy finds himself with a group of white and weedy musicians. Hell bent on transforming the group into something great, he names the band “The Commitments” and together they attempt to head up an Irish soul revolution.

Roddy Doyle says: “I’m extremely excited by this, which is great because I’m nearly 55 and I feel a bit giddy about it. I hadn’t planned to write it myself but then I did and I really enjoyed it. After meeting a number of impressive writers I told my wife “I’m thinking I might have a bash at the script myself” and she said “You took your time.””

The cast will be made up of new, fresh and exciting talent, some making their West End debut. Three quarters of those already cast hail from Ireland, several came from the open auditions. Most of the cast will be under 21. Full details will be announced soon.

Produced by The Commitments London Ltd, The Commitments will have musical supervision by Alan Williams, choreography by Ann Yee, design by Soutra Gilmour, lighting by Jon Clark and sound by Rory Madden.

Tickets: £5 – £33.75 (previews); £10 – £67.50 (from October 8) – available from the box office on 0844 412 4656 or online at www.palacetheatrelondon.org/the-commitments/ and www.thecommitmentslondon.com/.

NB: All tickets for preview performances will be half price – genuine preview prices -a tradition not seen in the West End for nearly 25 years. This means that tickets are available from the Palace Theatre box office from just £5. In an effort to make the show inclusive, more than 100,000 tickets for the initial one year booking period will be available for just £10 from the theatre box office.

Singin’ in the Rain continues at the Palace Theatre until June 8, 2013. It will be followed – from June 24 to Augustst 17, 2013 – by Derren Brown: Infamous.